Bolshoi Ballet hopes dancing, not drama gets the spotlight in 2014

BY artsdesk  January 17, 2014 at 5:05 PM EDT
Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP/Getty Images

Sergei Filin, the Bolshoi Ballet’s chief, wears sunglasses and a cap as he attends a press conference at the University Hospital of Aachen on March 15, 2013 in Aachen, Germany, where he was being treated after an acid attack, one year ago. Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/AFP/Getty Images

The year 2013 did not begin well for Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Moscow-based Bolshoi Ballet. Last January Filin suffered a viscous acid attack, masterminded by a jealous Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko. The acid caused third-degree burns and severely burned his eyes, almost completely eliminating his vision. Dmitrichenko was sentenced in December to six years in prison.


PBS NewsHour explored different theories on the motivation for the acid attack on Sergei Filin. Watch Gwen Ifill’s conversation with The New York Times’ Michael Schwirtz. (This segment originally aired on March 6, 2013.)

For Filin, who has returned to the Bolshoi, and his dancers, 2014 will hopefully be focused on their performances instead of drama offstage. The Bolshoi plans to tour Washington and New York this year. It will perform “Giselle” at the Kennedy Center May 20-25 and then will perform several ballets, including “Swan Lake,” “Don Quixote” and “Spartacus” at the Lincoln Center Festival in July 12-27.


Wonder what makes the Bolshoi such an iconic ballet company? Watch NewsHour’s profile of American dancer David Hallberg, who joined the Bolshoi as a principal dancer in 2011 and learn more about the legacy of the company.